reflections of a developing professional
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Values-led Education

Values

 

I was reflecting today on a question posed to me via Twitter.

“What are the values that guide your leadership?”

For me, this is a question that I have been – subconsciously, at least – pondering for some time. When thinking about the challenges and changes that I have faced, oftentimes I have come back to these same touchstone values as the pointers that have guided my journey.

Excellence - I feel this value deep into my bones and I have for as long as I can remember. Excellence to me does not necessarily mean being ‘the best’ at something but more it is the goal for all of my actions. I want to work towards excellence in everything that I do as a teacher. I want my students to feel that I am working hard to facilitate their achievement of their own personal brand of excellence. In my leadership, I want others to work with me in reaching towards excellence in everything that they do – from a phone conversation with a parent, to a presentation in front of the school executive.

Growth - Life is one long journey of learning. Personal and professional growth are constants in my day-to-day actions. I see failure as a growth opportunity and have used the feedback of less than successful times in my life to begin a new cycle of growth and development. In teams, growth is a value that allows risks to be taken and for lessons to be learned.

Positivity. This value is a new one for me. I have been greatly influenced by the power of taking a positive outlook in all situations recently. Closely tied to growth, positivity allows me to wear the knocks of life and to move onward. As a leader, I use this value to help stay motivated in the face of challenge and to motivate my teams when the going gets tough.

Compassion - to be a more valuable man. To recognize that the world is not perfect and it is filled with imperfect people, most trying their best with what they have. I recognize the great fortune that I have by being born white, male and Australian. I work tirelessly with my students and with my staff to ensure that we are always utilizing our opportunity to improve the lives of others.

 

Hand-y way to remember Unit Circle exact values

Confused, much?

Confused, much?

I was recently working with a Year 10 Mathematical Methods student, in preparation for the upcoming exams. She couldn’t remember the exact values of the Unit Circle angles, so I showed her a handy method of remembering. She was impressed (aw, shucks!), so I thought I’d share it here!

Step 1:

Label the thumb of your left hand “SINE”, your index finger “30”, your middle finger “45”, your ring finger “60” and your pinky “COS”. Draw a vinculum with the number 2 as the denominator on your palm. Or, draw divided by 2 on your palm – whichever works! :)

See below:

Marked Hand

 

Step 2:

Step 2 requires some imagination. I want you to imagine that there is a magic square root symbol floating in the air above your fingertips. Can you see it?

Magic Root

 

Step 3:

If you would like to know what the exact value of, say, Sine 30 degrees, fold down the finger with “30” on it. Like this:

20141115_172119

The Magic Root symbol goes over the digit left standing on the Sine side of the hand – in this case the thumb. The root of one (or just one), divided by two – the exact value of Sine 30 is one-half!

Can you also see how the Cosine of 30 can be found?

Below I have lowered the “45” digit – the Sine and Cosine of 45 both equal to root two divided by two! It’s magic!

20141115_172126

20141115_172136

 

This little memory trick has worked wonders for  me over the past few years, particularly with students who have found surds and fractions to be a frightening mix. I have taught this to students in Year 10, who have found it an invaluable tool in their understanding of the Unit Circle.

 

Here’s a challenge for you or your students. How can we include the exact values for the Tangent into this? :)